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Roddy McDowall as Cornelius, Ceasar, and Galen

To many Roddy McDowall represents the heart of the Apes saga. Playing multiple characters in both the movie series and the TV series McDowall was the one actor that had to be worked into the Apes saga in one way or the other. His acting seemed an integral part of the storyline that could not be lost even as other characters and actors came and went in the saga.

McDowall played Cornelius a scientific sort in the first film that finds the prospect of a talking Man Taylor, and his tale of a world where man ruled to be intriguing. He helps the Man escape into an area known as the Forbidden Zone. In the second film, McDowall's character returns as Cornelius albeit as played by another actor. McDowall still provided the voice of this Cornelius character. In the third film McDowall's character escaped nuclear destruction and travels back in time to modern day America. There he is questioned and examined by fearful humans before being killed for the dangers he represents to the world. McDowall returns in the fourth film as Ceasar, the son of his former Cornelius character. Ceasar exists as the only talking Ape amidst the enslavement of his kind by a greedy man. Cesar picks his own name from a book when he is purchased into a life of slavery to protect the secret of his abilities and ancetry from the talking Apes. Shortly Cesar leads an uprising and Apes reclaim their freedom from man.

In the fifth and final film Cesaer presides over man and ape alike who have survived nuclear holocaust in the hope sof building a world where man and ape live in peace. The movie saga inspired a TV series where McDowall returns again as the character Galen who teams with two American astronaughts who crash on his future Ape World and are on the run from Ape authorities.


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